Observant Passengers Help Cruise Ship Rescue Stranded Fishermen

Costa Serena cruise ship
Costa Serna was cruising when two passengers happened to see the stranded fishermen (Costa)

Published Dec 28, 2023 6:50 PM by The Maritime Executive


It was Christmas Day and Costa Cruises’ 114,500 gross ton Costa Serna was on a leisurely day of ocean cruising on the Arabian Sea. The cruise ship, which is operating the first program of international cruises from India in years, was sailing between Mumbai and Cochin when it ended up adding another distinction to its record by rescuing a group of stranded fishermen lost far out to sea.

According to the report, the bridge of the cruise ship received a call from passengers who said they had been out on their balcony and they thought they saw several people in life jackets in the distance. Under the guidance of Captain Andrea Bardi, the Costa Serena immediately slowed down her speed and deviated her route to begin a search and rescue operation.

The massive 951-foot (290-meter) long cruise ship was maneuvered into position and found the group of people approximately one mile from their route. The captain brought the ship into position and they confirmed that the group was five fishermen who were stranded at sea. 

The bridge of the cruise ship notified the Indian Coast Guard about the situation and the rescue. After a few hours, the Coast Guard met up with the cruise ship and took over the operation. The five individuals were transferred to the Indian Coast Guard which arranged for them to receive medical treatment at Mumbai Hospital.

When the Costa Serena arrived in Cochin the following day, December 26, she was met by representatives of the Indian Coast Guard. They presented the captain and crew of the cruise ship with an appreciation plaque, thanking all of them for the rescue efforts made under unusual circumstances that saved the shipwrecked fishermen. All the people are reported to be in good health.

The last of the Costa Cruises ships to return to service, the Costa Serena resumed sailing last year in a series of cruise programs around Asia, her first since the 2020 pause as a result of the pandemic. The ship arrived in India in November for a pioneering program of short cruises dedicated to the Indian market. As many as 450,000 people were expected to cruise on the ship between November and January 2024 in a program the Indian government believes will expand the domestic tourism industry.